CPM team on Gulf tour to raise funds

via VR Jayaraj | Kochi - Daily Pioneer published on April 6, 2010

A team of CPI(M) leaders from Kerala, headed by State party secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, is currently on a month-long tour of the Gulf. The official version is that they are there to attend various programmes of pro-party organizations but the actual mission is said to be raising funds for a memorial for former chief minister EK Nayanar and other purposes.

However, reports from the Gulf say that protests have already come up from among the pro-CPI(M) NRIs there, who say that the party of the working class is collecting money to the tune of crores of rupees like a corporate entity. Vijayan and his team are currently in Saudi Arabia and are expected to tour Dubai starting April 17.

Critics of the neo-liberalist camp in the CPI(M), headed by Pinarayi, have already leveled the allegation that the top leaders of the party are having a joy trip in the Gulf when the party and its associates are to hold a massive nation-wide agitation on April 8. They are of the opinion that the neo-liberalists are undertaking this tour at this juncture because they want to do it while the party is in power.

“This shows their sense of priority,” said a senior CPI(M) leader based in Thiruvananthapuram. “The leaders announce an agitation and then leave the country. This is exactly how the corporate bosses behave. They prepare a project, hand it over to the subordinates and then leave to fulfill their corporate commitments. It is nothing but capitalism of the party,” he said.

Critics also say that the Kerala CPI(M) bosses are of the feeling that they might not get another chance to undertake such a trip while they are in power. “Only one year is left before the tenure of the present Assembly comes to an end. It seems they are realistic abut their chances of retaining the power in the present circumstances. Therefore the fund-raising has to be done now,” said the leader.

Meanwhile, protests are said to have come up against the mission of Pinarayi and his team from the Gulf itself. A report from Dubai said that sharp criticisms of the leaders’ trip came up at a meeting of partymen held in the UAE city on Friday last to prepare the ground for the team’s Emirates visit. The report said that the main criticism was against the lack of transparency and corporate nature of Pinarayi’s fund-raising mission.

Those who criticized the mission at the meeting were severely reprimanded by the organizers, “with the same arrogance and hegemonic attitude with which the neo-liberalists used to warn dissidents in Kerala party’s units,” said a source from Dubai. He said the rule was “questions should not be asked.” Sources in the CPI(M) in Kerala refused to confirm or deny whether such a meeting was even held in Dubai. The meeting was organized by a pro-CPI(M) Malayalee collective.

When the convener of the meeting told the gathering that Rs 2 crore had to be mobilized from Dubai and Abdu Dhabi alone for the mission, one participant reportedly asked him if this was not equivalent to corporatization of the party. The critic was reportedly told that there was no need for them to worry about such matters as the visiting leaders had a plan of their own and they had the right sources to approach for these crores of rupees.

A pro-Left employee with a Dubai Government concern, who used to cooperate with CPI(M) programmes there, said the CPI(M) was considering the Malayalee base in the Gulf as a treasure island. “All politicians from Kerala do that but the CPI(M) has a peculiar way of doing it. They use the organizations of fellow-travelers for this. Most make contributions thinking of their old organizational associations but then it becomes a duty,” he said.

The CPI(M) in Kerala already owns hospitals, television channels and even an amusement park. However, the management of these businesses is not with the party technically. The party also had plans to start a luxury hotel in Kozhikode city.

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